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Thousands Of People In Northern California To Get Away From Their Home And Get To Safety; Obama Officials Who Helped Negotiate The Iran Nuclear Deal Blast Trump's Decision To Decertify Iran's Compliance; Family Held Captive In Afghanistan For Five Years Is Finally Free; Former White House Strategist Steve Bannon About To Fire Up Conservative Activists At The Value Voter Summit Today In Washington; Movie Mogul Harvey Weinstein Expelled From Academy Of Motion Pictures Of Arts And Sciences. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired October 14, 2017 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: Meet Blake Rockwell.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you have a child who is dealing with a life- threatening illness, their treatment protocol might be two or three years and their tanks start to go dry.
You are a big OU fan?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Awesome.
I came. They experience provides an opportunity for our family getting out as a family and just being there together. And days like this, they really motivate the kids to continue their fight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: They smiles. To see more of Blake's story and those children's or nominate your own hero, go to CNNheroes.com.
You are in the CNN NEWSROOM. I am Ana Cabrera in New York. Thank you for being with us.
We began with breaking news this hour. And a dire urgent order to thousands of people in northern California to get away from their home and get to safety. Massive fire, 17 of them are burning right now all over California's wine counties, Sonoma County, Napa County, the city of Santa Rosa and nearly 3,000 homes are already gone. And sadly at least 36 people are dead, killed by these fast-moving and unpredicted fires. Sheriff deputies days and nights have been going to house to house banging on doors urging people still in their homes to evacuate immediately.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
CABRERA: This is just a sense of what they are going through. And more than 200 people who live in that growing fire danger zone are still unaccounted for. And there is nothing to be optimistic about in the forecast right now. The firefighters can really use some cooler temperatures and rain. They are not getting it. It is hot. It is windy. And none of the major wild fires are anywhere near under control right now.
In all, there are 17 separate fires burning. The human toll is awful. At least 36 people are dead. More than 200,000 acres are destroyed. And California emergency officials have now expanded the highest level of emergency alert. The red flag warning to cover an area of about 20 million people live. That is the entire bay area including San Francisco.
Let's get out to Sonoma County, California, right now. CNN's Miguel Marquez is there.
Miguel, these fires have been so deadly and destructive already. What are officials saying about getting them under control?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are making progress on that. Three of those fires have come where we are right now. We are just east of Santa Rosa. So the eastern end of town and the Sonoma valley, north of Sonoma, this is where this latest number of fires prop up overnight. The winds changed and start pushing it into outward neighborhoods so they have evacuations, new evacuations, in this area.
But I can tell you they have been working this fire as hard as I have ever seen firefighters work fire from the ground with not only probably thousands of firefighters. We have seen crew after crew come in here, also tons of heavy machinery to cut through the forest in certain areas and from the air. The air show on this thing has been absolutely spectacular from the DC 10 (INAUDIBLE) just in front of us to the smaller tankers that's been dumping as well.
Incredible to see. I have never seen so many helicopters and planes at the same time working in smaller areas. If you keep going to the south, you can see how far this fire actually go down. It is all smoke all the way down there. The good news if there is good news here is the weather is beginning to turn. The winds have gotten some what lighter and the temperatures while it is hot is not getting as hot as we are concerned about. So if those winds can die down, if they can get a hold of this fire here, it is a bit like the fire last stand, it feels like. They are throwing everything at it to keep it from spreading -- Ana.
CABRERA: Miguel, we talked about the thousands of people who are under the new evacuation order, where are they going?
MARQUEZ: Well, they have many shelters set up around the area. Also, they have friends in the area so they can go there. But it looks like this one if they can get this taken care of. We have about four hours left of the red flag warning. Those high winds, low humidity and high temperatures. And after that, things should calm down allowing firefighters where we have been building the lineup there to keep that fire contained -- Ana. CABRERA: It sounds like a lot of homes that people will not be going
Miguel Marquez, thank you for staying on top of the very latest for us.
There are 10,000 or more firefighters out there trying to control the wildfires. And every one of them needs one thing desperately, cooperation from Mother Nature.
CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar has the update for us that end -- Allison.
[16:05:11] ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Ana, the wild fires were able to make such advancement in the containment going from 10 percent earlier this week of 40 percent on Friday. But the concern is that maybe reverse just as quickly due to strong winds that began overnight last night.
We have the red flag warnings in effect not just for northern California but also southern California. Some of those wind gust upwards of 60 miles per hour. The good news is those winds are expected to die back down as we go through the evening hours and especially overnight tonight.
However, that wind is there. It is still going to be enough to fan those flames out and spreading the fire but also taking the smoke and ash with it which means air quality is still expected to be incredibly unhealthy, not just in San Francisco but further north in to the wine country regions, in Sonoma and Napa valley.
One thing is going to be a concern for firefighters is the fact that temperatures are also going to increase especially by Monday. Some of these locations are looking at 10 to 15 degrees above average. And that will hinder the firefighters in being able to fight the fires as well because they get over heated very quickly.
Now, one thing that a lot of people have had questions about is what about all the rain we had this winter? We had so much rain in the winter and in the spring. This is a map of April 2017 showing all the rain they got. But, while that's a great thing, it fills the lake, it fills the reservoir, it is great for agriculture. It creates new vegetation. But that vegetation dries out in summer months and thus become fuels for a lot of those fires that we have right now.
So unfortunately, Ana, what that means is you actually have more of that new vegetation help fuelling the fires now than you would have had in the past few years when we had severe drought.
CABRERA: All right, Allison, thank you for the update.
Firefighters on the front line of this battle, again, California's deadly wildfires are both physically and emotionally drained and with really no end in-sight at this point getting the fires under control. It is why hundreds of additional firefighters are now arriving from other states. CNN's Robyn Kriel looks at the enormous (INAUDIBLE) disaster taken on
in these heroes there in California.
ROBYN KRIEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A hot breaking image of battled weary firefighters. These men are from the (INAUDIBLE) fire department, some using a rock as a pillow, getting a brief reprieve from fight against the deadly blaze. Here inmates from the California department of corrections get much needed rest after spending 16 hours on the front line in Napa valley. There are similar scenes across northern California as firefighters tried to stop one of the worst wildfires in California's history.
This fire house in Santa Rosa burnt to the ground on Sunday night. For the people who work here, there was no time to grieve. But they were on the frontline elsewhere battling the fire. With their fire station gone and no time to head home, they share meals on a front lawn of a family. A kid in the picture lives here and the niece and nephew is with one of the firefighters. What's even more disturbing for some of these first responders is what they are finding in remnants of burnt homes, the remains of victims of the blaze.
SHERIFF ROB GIORDANO, SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: Some of these remains are actually intact bodies, much easier to identify, mush easier to get things from. Some of them are nearly ashes and bones.
KRIEL: Yet they go on working endless hours.
Fred (INAUDIBLE) who took this photo of his colleagues having dinner roach, we slept off and on and engines and pick-ups, hose beds, etcetera. And more long hours maybe ahead.
Robyn Kriel, CNN Atlanta.
CABRERA: They are working to save lives. And yet there are families already ripped apart by the range in flames. 14-year-old Kyle Shepard (ph) is among the youngest victim of this fire storm. He died in his drive way while trying to evacuate with his parents and sister. His 17-year-old sister lost both of her legs because of her injuries. And Kyle's parents also suffered severe burns. Kyles's aunt is joining me now.
Mindy, I am so, so sorry for your loss and what you must be feeling right now. What exactly is the prognosis for your sister and the rest of her family?
MINDY RAMOS, VICTIM'S AUNT: You know, my sister is - has been more elusive than everyone else. I mean, they are going to make a full recovery but it is going to be a very long road. We are hoping that even the end of this weekend, early next week that John may regain his speech. We have not been able to communicate with any of them. We don't believe they know that Kyle has passed. [16:10:02] CABRERA: I cannot imagine having to share that news
eventually with them. Walk me through of what you learned as far as what happened.
RAMOS: You know, they fled their house in a timely manner. They were alerted by a neighbor that a fire was coming. They got in their cars and they headed down the drive way. The fires moved up the mountains very quickly. Their car caught on fire and they had to flee on foot. They were probably terribly panicked and disoriented at that point. John went downhill, Sarah and Cressa, Kyle went uphill. We have no idea why they were separated at that point. And they were further separated when Kyle was found. He was about 30 feet down the drive way from where my sister were found, all three of them were located by a neighbor sometime during 5:00 hour. So between when they contacted us at 1:00 a.m. and when they were found at 5:00 a.m., there is a lot of questions for us --so.
CABRERA: Wow. So when they were found, were there emergency responders who were able to then quickly move them out of there and get them to the hospital?
RAMOS: Yes. So John was found first because he had gone downhill. The first responders were able to get to him quickly. We are not sure at what time they found him. And then their neighbors found Cressa and Sarah on the driveway about a hundred yards down from their house. And that was, you know, around the 5:00 hour. And he called 911 and stayed with them and comforted Sarah and John - I mean, excuse me, Sarah and Cressa and tell the first responders were able to get up the mountain and get them down.
CABRERA: So my understanding is they have pretty severe burns. Is that right?
RAMOS: Yes, they were severely burnt 60 percent of their bodies. Both Sarah and Cressa are covered in burns. They were lucid when they were found. Sarah very much stayed the strong, present mother. She knew that Cressa was in a stage of shock. They asked for water and, you know, and the neighbors just stayed there and comforted them and tell first responders to come.
CABRERA: That sounds so scary. How did you find out that Kyle did not make it?
RAMOS: We checked the hospitals around 6:00 in the morning. I believe it was a mass where we discovered that John had been admitted. My parents went down to the hospital and knew Kyle and waited for information on John. And while they were waiting, Sarah and Cressa were brought in. And one of Cressa's friend, a neighbor came in with them and she unfortunately had to give my mom the news that Kyle had perished.
CABRERA: What do you want people to know about Kyle?
RAMOS: Kyle was a really wise soul. He seemed -- he had this really deep sense of compassion and love. He was very shy. He had a really sweet smile. He loved baseball. He was a big Giants fan. He played in the local Bay Ruth league. He was a pitcher. He was a great wrestler. He was a warrior. He was a strong boy. He was brave and he was endlessly compassionate.
CABRERA: I love looking at pictures of him. You do see his full shining through and light spirit and his athleticism there in the picture of him in his baseball uniform.
CABRERA: I cannot imagine how overwhelming this must be. What is the plan? How do you move forward?
RAMOS: You know, it is day by day recovery from burns is quite a roller coaster. So we are just here mustering every bit of strength and hope that we can for the Shepard's, you know, long-term they will come back home and live with my parents in River Valley whose home was spared. They did lose their garage but the home is spared. So it will be retrofitted to accommodate, you know, wheelchair whatever that needs to be done. They will be comfortable at home in River Valley. And we are going to rebuild them. We are going to hold them up.
CABRERA: We hope we can help in some way. How do people help -- what's the best thing for people to do for you?
RAMOS: So we do have a fundraiser generosity.com. That's holding up hope for the Shepards. We also have a local bank account set-up for those people that will put further donate in person at credit union. That the Shepard's family fund.
And you know, it is just amazing to us the outpouring support we have already received. We are grateful for the media coverage. We are grateful for even just those little note of we are thinking of you. If you need dinner or contact, you know, I mean. Not only our community at this point nationwide and even worldwide. People are really stepping up to holdup the Shepard family.
CABRERA: Mindy Ramos, we are so sorry for your loss.
Thank you for joining us for sharing your story. We will continue to pray for your family.
[16:15:05] CABRERA: Thank you so much.
CABRERA: Still to come, the powerful in Hollywood are voting right now. Will they kick Harvey Weinstein out of the motion picture academy or will the disgrace movie mogul survive calls for his ouster? We will find out.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[16:19:31] CABRERA: Big breaking news in the Harvey Weinstein story. In fact, he is just been expelled from the academy of motion pictures.
I want to bring in our senior media correspondent Brian Stelter who is just getting this breaking news. He hot the statement. Brian, what does it say?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: This is a vote by the academy of motion picture, arts and sciences. The group that puts on the Oscars every year. There is a 54 person board of governors that met this morning in Los Angeles and they voted almost unanimously, perhaps even unanimously to expel Harvey Weinstein from the academy.
This is significant because it is a Hollywood as a whole making a statement, sending a message that Weinstein is persona non-grata, not welcome back, not welcome to be a part of the film community, you know.
There is 54 people I mentioned who are voting on this.
[16:20:15] CABRERA: That are on the board.
STELTER: That are on the board. These are famed actors like Stephen Spielberg and Tom Hanks. Also some film industry's CEOs. But also a lot of folks you don't know the faces of. You can see Whoopee Goldberg and Steven Spielberg, but then you also have (INAUDIBLE), lightning directors, casting artist, makeup artists, people from all around the Hollywood industry.
According to the academy, it was over the two-thirds vote that was needed in order to make this decision. But the statement says it was well in access of the required two-thirds of majority. So they are not coming out and say in all 54 members agreeing. But there is certainly indicating this was an overwhelming decision by the board.
CABRERA: Which is so interesting when you consider the history of the academy not taking action among other cases when we have Bill Cosby who was not kicked out. Of course, Rowland Polanski (ph), Mel Gibson who have all been controversial and have been accused or convicted.
STELTER: Yes, Rowland Polanski, probably the best example. He admitted. He was convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl in the 1970s. He went to win another Oscar about 15 years ago. So he is an example of someone who actually left the county. He is someone who is disgraced and yet remains in the academy. Bill Cosby, another example.
So this is something the board - they maybe is having president here that will affect others in the future because up until now, we don't know of any case of a member of the academy being expelled for conduct that was unrelated to this. You know, if you saw your Oscars, take it to somebody, then yes, you may get kicked out. But in terms of behavior that happens completely unrelated to the group, to the organization, we don't know if the members of being expelled.
CABRERA: Well, that is more like personal misconduct.
STELTER: That's right.
CABRERA: I want to read the full statement now. We can put that up.
It says, the academy of Motion Pictures arts and science board of governors met today to discuss the allegations against Harvey Weinstein and has voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority to immediately expel from the academy. We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of colleagues but also to send a message that era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity and sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.
What is the issue here is the deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society. The board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all academy members will be expected to exemplify.
Brian, do you think this is going to send a riffle effect throughout the industry?
STELTER: Yes. I'm most struck by the language in the middle there that says, in essence, there was a period of willful ignorance. There was a period of shameful complicity that a lot of folks either looked the other way or helped Harvey Weinstein, prey on young women in the industry.
Now, we have heard in recent days allegations now against couple of other directors and other film executives, nothing to the extent that involves Harvey Weinstein. But Amazon did set put it had a TV on a leave of absence a couple of days ago because of harassment allegation against him. It does seem that Hollywood -- the entertain industry companies, whether in Hollywood or Amazon's case Seattle, entertainment industries companies are paying very close attention in trying to be on the right side of history. Because for a long time, for decades, this kind of behavior was something that was, you cannot say it was accepted but it was something that was ongoing in Hollywood.
CABRERA: Because you keep on hearing about this being a sort of hidden secret.
CABRERA: So many people had either heard secondhand account to whisper humor about. And so, we even heard President Trump saying he has known Harvey Weinstein for a long time. He is not surprised by the allegations.
STELTER: That's exactly right.
CABRERA: But yet he did not come out and condemn him.
STELTER: There are a lot of people who have heard various rumors about Harvey Weinstein over the year. Some people inside these company who knew about his temper, who knew that he was cheating on his wife. We head from his brother Bob today, Bob Weinstein, is now trying to run this crippled company that they used to run together. Says that he knew that his brother was a cheater, cheated on his wife, but did not know anything that was happening that was not consensual. Of course, now we know, thanks to the "New Yorker," that Harvey Weinstein since accused of four rapes which he has denied. But the idea now --.
CABRERA: And he served as his attorneys that those were consensual -- .
STELTER: That's right. But Weinstein has admitted to other improper behavior. And this has been an incredible embarrassment, not just for the Weinstein company, but for Hollywood (INAUDIBLE). So that's why we are seeing this board a decision today. We have never seen a board meeting like this from the academy that host the Oscars. We have never seen them come together and decide to expel a member for this kind of misconduct. But it is a sign, as with Roger Ailes last year, as with Bill O'Reilly earlier this year losing a show on FOX, another sign of change, a cultural shift in the United States.
[16:25:00] CABRERA: So he loses his position as a member of this prestigious group. But what about his Oscars?
STELTER: That is interesting you brought that up. There was some speculations that maybe the board have tried to take away for the Oscar he won for the film "Shakespeare in love." There is no indication from the statement that he is going to his Oscars taken away. I am not sure that would have even be possible if it would be possible to take that away. But that is apparently not happening. So he will keep his Oscars status, keep his credit for that movie. But he won't be able, for example, to attend the academy awards. He won't be able to win awards in the future.
It is definitely a symbolic move in some way but it is a striking statement from the leaders of the Hollywood world whether it is an actor like Tom Hanks or documentary maker Glory Kennedy, all these people on board together decided that he does not belong. And by the way, he is also (INAUDIBLE). That's the British version of this group, next to producers' guild which represents producers.
STELTER: That's right. Now they are going to meet on Monday because they want to see what happens to the academy today. But one by one by one, we are seeing all of these Hollywood organizations trying to break up ties of Harvey Weinstein.
CABRERA: And we are also seeing new investigations, in fact, in New York as well as London. We also talked to Gloria Allred who is representing apparently contacted by a number of Harvey Weinstein accusers. She couldn't tell exactly how many but she had called for a meeting with the Weinstein company. What do you know of the future of the Weinstein company now?
STELTER: There may or may not be a future of the company. This is a TV and film studio responsible for movies like "Ryan." Responsible for shows like "Project Runway." Shows that you see all over television, all over the Netflix, all over TV. It is crippled right now. The company is trying to figure out if they can survive. They may get sold off in pieces. It may shut down entirely. Right now that's an open question in Hollywood. Meanwhile, Harvey Weinstein was fired from the company. He is still
trying to keep his stake in the company. There was a lot of internal drama. But most of all, there is a sense of shame and guilt that this is going on. In some cases, staffers, like they said, they may have known something. They didn't have the full picture. And as Gloria said to you last hour now, there is this called for the company to help with the victims, try to help them gain some kind, you know, what's the word, you know?
STELTER: Justice. And now we that we will see what for might takes, but this is a believer in company. And now, we see the Hollywood community really trying to distance themselves from Harvey Weinstein.
CABRERA: Well, I think the message has been sent and no more. This is not acceptable in Hollywood or anywhere else.
Brian Stelter, thank you for that breaking news right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.
CABRERA: Also ahead for us this hour, President Trump ignoring his advisers, taking steps to dissolve a nuclear deal with Iran. An American held captive by Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis as Trump moves are pushing this back to those hostile time. He will join us live in the CNN NEWSROOM. Stay with us.
[16:32:17] CABRERA: Welcome back. You are in the CNN NEWSROOM.
Obama officials who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal are now blasting President Trump's decision to decertify Iran's compliance and possibly even eventually terminate the agreement.
Vice President Joe Biden writes President Trump's decision today to decertify the nuclear deal goes against reason and evidence.
Former secretary of state John Kerry says the President's decision is reckless abandonment of facts in favor of ego and ideology. Now the facts are that Iran is complying with the deal according to other members of the deal in the international atomic energy agency. And evidence shows the deal is preventing the country from having a nuclear weapon, even the President's top national security advisers have said as much. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEN. JOSEPH DUNFORD, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: Iran is not in material breach of the agreement. And I do believe the agreement to date has delayed the development of the nuclear capability by Iran.
REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: My deal in the nuclear deal is they are in technical compliance of the nuclear arrangement. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe it is in our national security
interest of the present time to remain in the (INAUDIBLE)? That's a yes or no question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, senator, I do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Joining us to discuss is Ambassador John Limbert. He is a former deputy assistant secretary for Iran and for the bureau of near- eastern affairs. He is also a hostage, in fact, for 444 days during the Iran hostage in 1999.
Ambassador, thank you for being a voice on our show, for providing perspective here. We have some videos actually of you taken during the hostage crisis, if we can put that up there.
President Trump says Iran is under the control of a quote "fanatical regime that seized power in 1979 during this hostage crisis and that has continue to sponsor terrorisms around the world since then." Do you agree with the President's decision?
JOHN LIMBERT, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR IRAN BUREAU OF NEAR EASTERN AFFAIRS: No, I don't. I am not a great fan of the Islamic republic as you may have imagine. But the decision is a mistake. What it does is it puts us back where we were for 35 years where we and the Iranians, what did we do? We did not really talk to each other. We traded threats. We traded accusations. We traded insults. And we did that for 35 years. We beat our chests and we accomplish nothing except maybe some sore chest.
CABRERA: I wonder what you see as the consequences of this decision.
LIMBERT: Well, it does a couple of things. One thing it does is it reverses roles. Now, the United States is in the role of the rant and ranter and ravers. And the Iranian are in a very - we put the Iranians in a very powerful position of being the party of sweet reasons. I mean, listen to what President Rahani says. Listen to what foreign ministers Sarif says. They are not -- they point out, they said we are not the ones that's swinging insults and threats at the other side, the United States is. And I believe that puts us in a very weak diplomatic situation.
[16:35:29] CABRERA: I want to read you something former vice president Joe Biden wrote. He said quote "why would the rest of the world join us in pushing for diplomatic solution we might not uphold. After today, what is America's word worth in the world?"
What's your answer to that question?
LIMBERT: Well, I agree with the vice President. It seems to me that our own President has cut his own throat, diplomatically. If he cannot, if he will not keep to deals, reached by his predecessors, then who is going to trust him. Who is going to (INAUDIBLE)? He presents himself as the world's greatest negotiator. And he seems unable to admit that a deal reached by anybody else could be valid or could have benefits. So he is making I think a very lame attempt to validate his claim of being a world's greatest dealmaker.
CABRERA: So do you think this was a personal decision because it was a personal issue. It wasn't necessarily about what is right for the country.
LIMBERT: It seems so. I mean, the problem is he speaks for the country, he speaks to the world or at least he should. This whole thing to me, Ana, it reminds me. I served in foreign service for 35 years. I served in a lot of third world countries. And this reminds me of some of the dictators who as soon as they took power, they immediately began to obliterate everything their predecessors have done just on a personal win. So they changed names of streets. They would toppled statues in order to show that nobody is better than I am. Nobody is smarter than I am.
CABRERA: There are seven countries involved in this deal. So the U.S. cannot simply end this deal, but France is one of those country. And I want you to listen to what French president Emanuel Macron said to CNN back in September about this deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: North Korea is a very good illustration of what the scenario from nuclear deal with Iran. Why? Because we stop everything with North Korea. Years and years ago. We stopped anyone in the ring, any discussion (ph) with them. And what's the result? (INAUDIBLE). So my position for Iran of what President Trump wants to say, look at the situation in North Korea. I don't want to replicate the situation with Iran.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: So Macron is worried not having this deal isolating Iran could actually turn it into the next North Korea. Do you share those concerns?
LIMBERT: He's not going to isolate Iran. What he's going to do is isolate the United States. He has and actually he can follow one or two paths. He can follow the path of Lincoln who during the civil war famously told his advisers, gentlemen, one war at a time or he can follow the path of Mossolini which he seems to be doing who said famously again, the more enemies, the more honor. And that unfortunately, he says where is the direction he seems to be going.
CABRERA: Ambassador John Limbert, thank you so much for your perspective. We really do appreciate your time.
LIMBERT: Thank you, Ana.
CABRERA: And a programming note now. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson will join our Jake Tapper on "STATE OF THE UNION" tomorrow morning. That's at 9:00 eastern and pacific right here on CNN.
A family held captive in Afghanistan for five years is finally free. A Canadian man, his American wife there, three children born in captivity are now safely home telling the world what happened to them. He says the captors authorized the killings of one of their children. Details on their story coming up live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[16:43:40] CABRERA: A shocking new claimed today by that family free from militant captivity in Pakistan. Joshua Boyle, a Canadian, along with his American wife, Kaitlyn Coleman and their three children, all of who were born in captivity arrived safety in Canada last night. Now, Boyle told reporters in Toronto his kidnappers authorized the murder of another one of his children and raped his wife.
CNN international correspondent Paul Newton just spoke with Boyle herself.
Paula, what did he say?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, given everything that he has been through, Ana, he told me quite clearly and bluntly, I am doing much better than I thought I would be doing at this point and so are his children who seem certainly they seem OK, seem to be enjoying what is a real home. But there have been horrendous things done to this family.
You know, Josh Boyle's family had alluded to me before he arrived is the kind of violence that they suffered, especially his wife, American Kaitlyn Coleman in captivity was a lot worse than anyone has ever known. I want you to take a listen now to Joshua Boyle after he arrived in Canada.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSHUA BOYLE, HELD CAPTIVE BY TALIBAN AFFECTED NETWORK: The stupidity and the evil of the Hokoni (ph) networks kidnapped in a prepared room and his heavily pregnant wife, engaged in helping ordinary villagers in Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan. Was equipped only by the stupidity and evil of authorizing the murder of my infant daughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[16:45:06] NEWTON: Now, when he says the murder of my in infant daughter, we don't know the exact details. The family had alluded to me that perhaps there had been a forced abortion and it was terrible for the family to go through all of that. And it has been said by Kaitlyn Coleman that her children saw her in captivity being in her word defiled by her captors, just absolutely horrific stuff which, Ana, made it all the more extraordinary.
Ana, when I was on the phone with him today, you can hear just the sound of a, not a normal family, but trying to become a normal family. And you heard the kids interrupting Joshua because they needed something. And he also marbled at the fact that, you know, hour by hour, they already seem to be doing much better. And you know, Ana, as you and I can appreciate this mother, you know, the kids weren't playing with the toys. They were really interested in flush toilets. As Boyle said, they were living in a hole. And so, everything that they see around them now is extraordinary to them and they are just trying to take it all in.
CABRERA: So glad, so glad they are free. So glad they have the chance for a new beginning.
Paula Newton, thank you for their story, for that report.
Still to come, significant development in a Russia investigation. We learned investigators have formerly questioned former White House's chief of staff, Reince Priebus. What they want to know, next.
You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM.
[16:50:48] CABRERA: A significant development in the Russia investigation. CNN learning that special counsel Robert Mueller has begun questioning those closest to President Trump. Reince Priebus, his attorney said, the former chief of staff was interview just yesterday and was quote "happy" to answer all of the investigators' question. Priebus was involved in major decisions President made in office including the firing of former FBI director James Comey and former national security advisor, Michael Flynn. And as we previously reported, Mueller is investigating both dismissals.
Meanwhile, another former White House officials grabbing some headlines as well. Former White House strategist Steve Bannon about to fire up conservative activists at the value voter summit today in Washington. Bannon who has resumed his role now as the executive chairman of Breitbart News responded to a headline about his war against the Republican establishment saying this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE BANNON, EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, BREITBART NEWS: This is not my war. This is our war. And you all did not start it, the establishment started it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: Let's bring in CNN'S Ryan Nobles joining us from the White House with more.
Ryan, Bannon hold no punches. He named names as he called out the Republican establishment today.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: he sure did, Ana. And it is important to remind ourselves exactly how important Steve Bannon is to Donald Trump. This is someone who played key role in his campaign and was one of his closest adviser during his short stay at the White House. And he still does have quite a bit of influences with Trump and many of his close associates. And at this values, voter summit today, Steve Bannon took direct aim at one of the most important Republicans in Washington, the senate majority leader Mitch McConnell evoking Shakespeare in talking about how he hopes Mitch McConnell would be taken down. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BANNON: Up on capitol hill, because I have been getting calls, it is like before the (INAUDIBLE), right. The only question is and this is just an analogy or metaphor, whatever you want to call it, they are just looking to find out who is going to be Brutus to your Julius Caesar.
BANNON: Yes, Mitch, the donors are not happy. They all left you. We cut your oxygen off, Mitch, OK? Money is not courageous but money is smart, OK? And right now money is sitting there saying hey, I see these folks, they are worked up. They are mad and they are mad for a reason.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBLES: And if you remember your high school English class, of course, Brutus killed Julius Caesar. He betrayed him. But then, of course, at the end of the play, Brutus committed suicide. Of course, Steve Bannon leaving that part of the story out.
And it is important to point out, Ana, how important the senate and senate Republicans are to President Trump. And that was evidence -- we saw that evidence today as Donald Trump was out on the golf course and his partner on the golf course was Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina senator who at times has taken an opportunity to disagree with the President and go after him. But then at the same time, he is still finding ways to work with him.
Mitch McConnell, also trying to do the same. Obviously, that relationship is a bit more difficult to pull off when you have someone like Steve Bannon openly attacking someone like Mitch McConnell.
CABRERA: Ryan Nobles at the White House, thank you. We are back in a moment.
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I felt at the time as a 21-year-old that anybody could start a tech company and I had no idea how difficult it would be, the story of building a startup is just a string of challenges and disappointments and uphill battles peppered with some big success if you are lucky. When I think about some of the hardest time that we face and I think about what it would be like to be working some other than my sister, you could imagine everything fallen apart. (END VIDEOTAPE)
[16:59:42] CABRERA: You are live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I am Ana Cabrera in New York.
Our breaking news is at Hollywood where the straight movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has just been expelled from one of the most prestigious group in the industry, the academy of motion Pictures of arts and sciences, the people who awards the Oscars. The news comes after at least four women accused Weinstein of raping them. Dozens more including many well-known actresses are alleging everything from harassment to sexual assaults. Weinstein denied the allegations saying that through an attorney, he believe all the encounters were consensual.
We now have --.